A running commentary by a former Anglican priest who was baptized Catholic,

kidnapped from the Church in his youth,

and found his way back through the blessings of Anglican spirituality.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rebel Against The Rebellion

My wife and I were speaking about some rebellious children that we had encountered at the store recently, and our sixteen year old daughter came into the room. Overhearing our description of the children, she was shocked at their behavior. She has been raised to respect adults and to honor authority, and the children in question did not appear to have the same blessings. Her comment was, "they seem to think of rebellion as a virtue". Wanting her input, I asked her why she herself was not more rebellious, and her response was priceless: "I am rebellious; I am rebelling against the rebellion".

The world we live in is filled with rebellion, and though some of it can be justified most of it cannot. It seems as though there is now a joy in "coloring outside the lines" like never before. The current popularity of rebellion is something that needs to be "rebelled against" because it is only leading our youth into a life of misery and sadness. The Apostles knew that there were times when, in order to obey God, they had to rebel (cf. Acts 5:29). In the degenerate society of today, this dilemma will likely occur more often than in the past. The problem arises when our youth are not properly taught how to deal with these situations. If they are listening to the world, then they will seek to rebel against everything (except, of course, against the world itself).

A proper understanding of obedience will include a proper understanding of disobedience. All Christians need to understand what disobedience is, for it is more than just "not doing what you're told". Disobedience is a rejection of authority and willful choice to pursue self-determination. What few people are aware of today (both children and adults) is that if people are consistently rebellious against authority, then they will refuse to submit to those who tell them that they need to rebel (it is a self-refuting issue). Hence, those who "rebel against the rebellion" are the only ones who are applying the principle somewhat consistently.

What are the youth groups doing at your Church? Are they working harder to get children to attend than they are to get children to obey Jesus? If they are working to appeal to children's base desires (entertainment, pleasure, etc.) as a means of "upping the numbers" then the children are not properly being taught what it means to live a life dedicated to Christ. They are being taught, rather, that you go where the fun is (and when the fun stops, you leave). Yet, this is not the Christian life, this is the life of the world; "eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die". We need to go beyond just telling the kids what to obey, and tell them how to obey. The manner of obedience is almost more important than the obedience itself.

Children today desperately need to be taught that the Christian faith is not merely a set of rules and beliefs. Living the Christian faith is like living in a whole other dimension. Distinct from the world around, and having its own set of rules that often differ from the rules of the world that we see with our eyes. It is not merely something to do, but something to "be". To become dedicated to something outside ourselves takes more than just a set of rules and beliefs, it takes a heart that is devoted and a mind that is trained in such a way that we decide beforehand that whatever happens, we will submit to God's commandments. This is the opposite of the world's rebellion. It is called faithfulness to God.

1 comment:

  1. Your daughter was quite right. Students are taught in public school that rebellion is a virtue; and that every rebellion is good for humanity.